The Personal Parish for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

St Aloysius' Church, 233 Balaclava Road, Caulfield North, 3161

News and Announcements

26th March, 2017





From the Parish Priest's Desk

Dear brothers & sisters in Christ,

The passage we hear this Sunday from St Paul’s letter to the Galatians, regarding our freedom in Christ, is easily misinterpreted as suggesting an opposition between the spirit of the Gospel, and the commandments. Eduardo Echeverria’s article (reprinted below from The Catholic Thing, with thanks) provides a useful corrective.

Devotedly in Our Lord,

Fr Glen Tattersall PP


Gospel and Law according to Ratzinger

Eduardo J. Echeverria

Recently, a prominent Italian Rabbi, Giuseppe Laras, criticized Pope Francis’s homilies for their “resumption of the old polarization between the morality and theology of the Hebrew Bible and of pharisaism, and Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospels.”

Decades ago, Joseph Ratzinger wrote a chapter titled, “Israel, the Church, and the World,” from his short study, Many Religions – One Covenant (1998). He argued there: “Jesus did not act as a liberal reformer recommending and presenting a more understanding interpretation of the Law. In Jesus’ exchange with the Jewish authorities of his time, we are not dealing with a confrontation between a liberal reformer and an ossified traditionalist hierarchy. Such a view, though common, fundamentally misunderstands the conflict of the New Testament and does justice neither to Jesus nor to Israel.”

This view of the relationship between the Gospel and the Law of Israel sounds familiar because Rabbi Laras is right: it is a steady drumbeat in Pope Francis’ homilies.

I have already written here about Francis’s oppositional interpretation of the Gospel and the Law. I won’t repeat what I’ve said. Rather, I want to discuss Cardinal Ratzinger’s reasons for rejecting such a “crass contrast” between the Gospel and the Law.

Ratzinger characterizes this contrast as a “cliché in modern and liberal descriptions where Pharisees and priests are portrayed as the representatives of a hardened legalism, as representatives of the eternal law of the establishment presided over by religious and political authorities who hinder freedom and live from the oppression of others. . . .In light of these interpretations, one sides with Jesus, fights his fight, by coming out against the power of priests in the Church.”

Why does Ratzinger hold that this contrast fundamentally misconstrues the New Testament understanding of the relationship between the Gospel and the Law, and hence fails to do justice to Jesus and Israel?

The key Biblical principle that helps Ratzinger plumb the theological depth of the relationship between the Gospel and the Law is expressed in the words of Jesus: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Mt 5:17) The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC, 577-582) functions as the interpretive lens through which Ratzinger understands the words of Jesus. That the Law is fulfilled in Christ does not mean that the Gospel has no further relation to the Law. The moral Law remains God’s will for the life of the Christian. How so?

Jesus fulfills the Law by bringing out its fullest and complete meaning. He also fulfills it by bringing the finishing or capstone revelation. He radicalises the Law’s demands by going to its heart and centre. In Matthew 22:40, Jesus says, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus neither replaces nor adds to the moral teachings of the Law, but rather he exposes its true and positive, indeed, fullest meaning in light of the twofold yet single, central Commandment: that we love God completely and love our neighbor as ourselves. (Mt 7:12; 22:34-40; Mk 12:38-43; Lk 10:25-28; Jn 13:34; Rom 13:8-10)

In that sense, Jesus interiorises the demands of the Law because fulfillment of the Law must be measured by that central commandment to love. Because love of God and neighbor is the heart of the Law, Jesus shows that the commandments prohibiting murder and adultery mean more than the letter of the Law states. Jesus is not an ethical minimalist, a view that associates the Law with mere formality and externalism in morals, but rather an ethical maximalist. A maximalist – and Christ was a maximalist – refers to the dimension of interiority. (cf. Mt 5) Christ appeals to the inner man because “the Law is led to its fullness through the renewal of the heart.” (CCC, 1964)

Indeed, CCC teaches that the central Commandment to love expresses the “fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.” (1604). Ratzinger explains: “By saying Yes to the double commandment, man lives up to the call of his nature to be the image of God that was willed by the Creator and is realized as such in loving with the love of God.” The moral laws, whose core is the Ten Commandments, retain their direct and unchanging validity. Moreover, even these Commandments receive a new foundation in the Gospel. In short, “The Law of the Gospel ‘fulfills’, refines, surpasses, and leads the Old Law to its perfection.” (CCC,1967)


First Saturday: this Saturday (1st April) will be the First Saturday of the month. Let us all try to heed the request of Our Lady of Fatima: Communion of Reparation for the offenses committed against Her Immaculate Heart, Confession (within a week either side of the day), the recitation of five decades of the Rosary, and meditation for fifteen minutes on one or more of the Mysteries of the Rosary. The Rosary will be prayed during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament after 10 am Mass, and we will conclude with Benediction.

Church cleaning day – this Saturday, 1st April: volunteers are requested to assist with a cleaning day and to prepare the Church for Passiontide and Holy Week, on Saturday 1st April. We will commence work just after 11 am (following Mass, Exposition & Benediction). In addition to cleaning, we will be veiling the statues and preparing palm crosses. A light lunch will be provided for volunteers, and the 10 am Mass that day will be offered for their intentions.

First Friday adoration: the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for adoration on Friday 7th April after evening Mass, until Midnight. Please sign up her to commit yourself to a period of adoration:

The Holy Week programme has been posted on our website and Facebook page, and is on the poster near the front steps of the Church. Postcards with the Holy Week programme are also available in the vestibule.

New Books, including Missals have arrived this week, and will be available for purchase from Bl. John Henry’s bookroom after the Sunday Masses today. All are welcome to browse.

“Oriens ex Alto” CD – fundraiser for Notre Dame Priory: a two CD set of the Offices and Mass of Epiphany, recorded live during this year’s “Silence and Song” Retreat, is for sale for $30 per set. All profits go to the support of Notre Dame Priory in Tasmania. Holy Cards from the Priory’s Foundation Day are available in the vestibule. To follow the new community’s development, please see the Priory’s website:

Please pray for Evan & Grace McGregor , who were received yesterday into the Catholic Church & confirmed, and who make their First Holy Communion today. It is anticipated that their children, Finn, Elliott, Rohan & Bonny, will be baptised at the Easter Vigil.

Lenten intentions: for many centuries, the Pope, clergy and lay faithful of Rome would gather at the “Stational” Church each day of Lent for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice. These Stational Churches are still mentioned in the Missal for each day of Lent. This practice, and the idea of a corporate observance of penance, especially in the traditional Lenten fast, served to remind the Faithful that Lent is not merely an individual observance, but a time of renewal for the whole Church. Let us offer our Lenten observances this year for the unity of the Church, in fidelity to Christ and His teachings. Let us especially pray for Pope Francis, that he may correspond with the grace of His Office. Finally, let us pray for a happy and fruitful conclusion to the negotiations between the Holy See and the Society of St Pius X. Come to weekday Mass during Lent!

Parish BBQ picnic – ANZAC Day: following the Solemn Requiem for deceased servicemen on ANZAC Day (Tuesday, 25th April) we will hold a Parish BBQ picnic in the grounds of Maryvale.

Major Questions of Philosophy: John Young will commence a 20 week long course on 28th March. The course will be given on Tuesdays at the Caroline Chisholm Library, from 6-7 pm. Full details are provided in the flyer in the vestibule, and on our website and Facebook page.

Presenting Killing as Kindness and Fiction as Fact. The Victorian End-of-Life Choices Inquiry has recommended an assisted suicide law and a bill will be introduced into the Victorian Parliament this year. The Australian Family Association invites you to an important talk by Professor Margaret Somerville AM, Professor of Bioethics in the School of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Sydney. Professor Somerville will speak on the dangers of assisted suicide legislation. Sunday, 26 March 2pm-4pm, at Methodist Ladies’ College, 207 Barkers Road, Kew. Entry is free but RSVP required – or text/call Maria on 0438 088 681